In a new project, the Center is undertaking a study of the future of public research universities from the combined standpoints of mission and financial sustainability. This subject, sometimes know as "the crisis of the publics" has become particularly acute as levels of state support for public research universities have contracted so as to endanger the combined missions of access and research.

Principal investigators for this project include Judson KingJohn Douglass, and Irwin Feller, who is a research fellow with the American Association for Advancement of Science and professor emeritus of economics from Pennsylvania State University.

The general approach is to recognize that other countries have been dealing with similar problems, observing U. S. higher education closely, and making substantial changes designed to work within in their own environments. The project will examine these developments in other countries and infer from them approaches that are promising for considering in the U. S. environment. The initial step planned is a conference of 20 to 24 persons, drawn widely, to establish the most promising areas for fuller investigation.